Musician Will Wilde is an incredibly talented harmonica player. He’s especially adept at interpreting vocal and guitar solos from rock songs, including this jam from Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky. His harmonica solos from Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child o’ Mine are equally compelling.
A rambling, improvisational style is a trademark of jazz saxophone great John Coltrane’s sound, making them notoriously difficult for others to perform. Listen as harmonica player Cy Leo shows off his incredible breath control as he keeps perfect time with a passage from Coltrane’s 1960 classic Giant Steps.
Musician Dan Murphy of Irish folk band Hermitage Green has made a name for himself with his ability to beatbox and play the harmonica at the same time. In this clip, he managed to switch between four different harmonicas in order to play notes across more octaves.
Cy Leo, Ivan Chong, Jerry Wong, and Ramiel Leung of the quartet Perfect Fourth turn in a perfectly executed cover version of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s cool jazz classic Take Five, replacing the piano, drums, flute, and alto sax of the original with harmonicas. They also do a mean version of the William Tell Overture.
Polyphia’s prog rock track 40oz has a has a downright insane lead guitar part. In this amazing cover version of the track, Cy Leo takes over lead duties on his harmonica, while Tsui Jack provides the beatbox rhythm, and Danny Yau sends his fingers flying on guitar. Combined, they sound like a human chiptune machine.
Cy Ho is a master of the harmonica. Among the tracks you’ll find on his YouTube channel is this live cover version of Lalo Shifrin’s classic theme song from Mission Impossible. Be sure to check out his performances of Billie Jean and Flight of the Bumblebee too.